Almond Crisped Peaches

photo-326Holy smokes- its September. I actually have no idea where my summer went. But September means a lot of great things: kids are back in school, fall foliage, peach season and most importantly…Football season! The peaches are in full swing in Utah and they are so delicious! photo-320This recipe is a fun and healthy spin on the classic peach crumble or crisp. The individual peach halves make a beautiful presentation if you are entertaining. The crunchy almond crisp topping is light enough that it allows the sweetness of the fresh peaches to shine through – so you’re actually enjoying the peach instead of a lot of sugar. photo-321Crunchy sweet perfection. Originally, I topped the dessert with ice cream- turns out, it doesn’t need it, they are amazing au natural! And… They are gluten free! Come to think of it a dollop of plain yogurt on these peaches would make a delicious breakfast…drool.photo-324This recipe calls for such basic and simple ingredients you’re bound to have some variation on hand at all times- which makes this a perfect last minute sweet treat! Sub peaches for plums, nectarines, apples or pears. Switch up the almonds for your favorite nut- the options are endless! photo-325I’ve eaten (and made) many different kinds of peach deserts but this one might be my new favorite and definitely the easiest! Enjoy!

Almond-Crisped Peaches (Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds (roasted or raw)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place peaches cut side up in a baking dish.
  3. In a food processor, combine almonds and sugar until coarsely ground (till only a few pebbles remain).
  4. Add oats, cinnamon and salt if adding them, and butter, pulsing until they are blended.
  5. Scoop almond mixture into the center of each peach and press flat to coat the whole top of the peach.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (baking time will depend on peach size) till the top is brown and the fruit is soft enough to cut with fork or spoon.
  7. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, ice cream or with a drizzle of fresh maple syrup. Enjoy!

If you don’t have a food processor, use finely chopped almonds and combine them with other dry ingredients. Melt the butter and mix with dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Scoop mixture into peaches as directed above.   photo-327

Joanie’s Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies

photo-220Happy Valentines Day everyone! Whether you’re a lover or a hater of this pretty ridiculous holiday- You’ve gotta love an excuse to stuff your face with baked goods, chocolates, fruit covered in chocolate, candy hearts and then wash it down with wine or (but preferably AND) champagne with out getting a belly ache… Yeah, good luck!

My friend Aly brought me these beautiful tulips, I’m feeling pretty lucky and its not even officially Valentines Day!photo-223These almond cookies are pretty outrageous- in the healthiest way possible. Pom Pom got this recipe from her friend Joanie and Joanie must have got this recipe from an angle because they are that good. photo-219

They are made with almond flour/meal which gives it a chewy, nutty texture. Then you mix that with a hint of mint extract and dark chocolate chips and it’s like a Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie and a chocolate chip cookie got married and had little chocolate mint almond cookie babies. Plus… they are gluten free, vegan and guilt free (kind of) after you eat the whole plate. Enjoy!

Heaven on Earth Almond Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups Almond flour/meal (this can be found in the bulk section at Whole Foods or any health food store. Bob’s Red Mill also makes it, usually in the gluten free section)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil (I used canola this time because I didn’t have grapeseed on hand but either is good)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup 70% dark chocolate, chopped (or use dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients together and stir in chocolate chunks
  • Roll dough into 1″ balls and softly press/flatten dough onto a well greased cookie sheet
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes until edges begin to brown.
  • Cool on wire wracks (if you can wait that long)
  • These would also make really good ice cream sandwiches- place a scoop of your favorite flavored ice cream or sorbet and let them set in the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving.

Rose’s Caramel Graham “Crack”er Bark

This holiday treat is totally addicting (you will see why I call it crack once you’ve made it) and a huge crowd pleaser. The delicious recipe is courtesy of my friend Jacki’s mom, Rose, who always has this graham cracker bark around the house during the holiday’s. The best part about it…it’s a snap to make and you can tweak the toppings to your liking! The classic recipe calls for slivered almonds, but we also added dried cherries to one and dark chocolate chunks to other (we doubled the recipe). Next time I’d love to try this recipe with some chopped pretzels or popcorn or a little Fleur de Sel sprinkled on top. Bring this to your next holiday party and you’re sure to be the most popular guest! Thanks Jacki and Rose for sharing! Enjoy! 🙂

Rose’s Graham Cracker Bark

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 graham crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Slivered Almonds (or another kind of chopped nut)
  • Dried Cherries (Optional)
  • Dark Chocolate (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 350degress. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay graham crackers side-by-side on the cookie sheet so there are not gaps between the crackers. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter on medium heat until completely melted. Slowly add brown sugar to the melted butter and stir. Allow to the butter and sugar mixture to boil and thicken for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove sugar from heat and pour sugar mixture over graham crackers, spreading evenly. Sprinkle graham crackers with slivered almonds, cherries or chocolate (or both!). Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and allow it to cool completely (this is the hardest step as you will want to eat it right away!) before breaking bark into smaller pieces. To store, line tupperware or tin with wax paper, separating each layer of bark with another sheet of wax paper. Enjoy!